By on April 2, 2015

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

In the never ending quest for volume uber alles, Mercedes-Benz has announced that “four new vehicles without a predecessor model will be launched”.

The need for scale in the auto industry has never been more acute, and increasing volume is one way to help take advantage of this strategy – especially in a higher margin segment like luxury vehicles. But at some point, Mercedes is going to run into what I call “the Coach effect”, named after the handbag company which ended up degrading its brand via a mass downward expansion into outlet stores and lower prices. The current lineup of Mercedes (and BMW and Audi) is jam packed with endless derivatives of the same four platforms. On paper, this is a sound strategy for maximizing economies of scale. But in practice, it creates an alphabet soup of indistinguishable variants while also decreasing the barrier to entry for new buyers – arguably the selling point for luxury vehicles.

Or maybe I’m wrong. You tell me.

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67 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Mercedes-Benz NEEDS MOAR MODELS!!!111...”


  • avatar
    NotFast

    I think it’s wrong, but I’m an enthusiast and can’t claim knowledge of how the markets really work.

    But it seems to be working for BMW, no? When was their last yearly sales drop?

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      Personal opinion here, but I feel like BMW can get a way with this a bit more by being known as a maker of sporty cars. At least the 1 and 2 series have good driving dynamics and can be viewed as having a place as an enthusiast’s choice. A cheap Mercedes is at heart just a cheap Mercedes — a worse version of of the more expensive car, with no particularly redeeming qualities.

      Aside: It is possible to expand product lines downward without the “Coach effect” — in the fashion world, Ralph Lauren is considered to be the epitome of this — it just requires some very adroit branding.

    • 0 avatar
      velvet fog

      BMW may be selling more, but they are losing what made them BMW.

      Same thing for Mercedes. Selling a Nissan built truck as a Mercedes is the final step in brand destruction.

      It used to be that you were getting a unique value proposition with these brands, ie BMW the ultimate driving machine, MB’s reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Now it’s just a blatant display of how much you’re willing to spend on a lease payment.

      That’s all gone as we’ve moved into a world of volume chasing, supplier led feature commoditization, and modular platforms.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The Mercedes brand in the rest of the world is not at all what you think it is, and never has been. They make everything from garbage trucks to taxis to the Maybach S-class. The only common denominator being that all of it is pretty well built. That rebadged pickup will fit right in and nobody will bat an eye.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    ” while also decreasing the barrier to entry for new buyers ”

    the horse has already left the barn (years and years ago) on that point—-with gobs of used 50k-mile cars coming off lease every year, it’s possible for ‘mere plebs’ to get into a same generation E-class as their boss.

    Only the truly automotive ignorant (majority of peeps) would automatically assume that just because someone is driving a ______, she/he is automatically rich (debt-free w/high net worth).

    • 0 avatar

      My friends sold 3 year old E class for no apparent reason (and made someone happy). Then they leased couple more and returned back. Because they can. So there are a lot of cheap used almost new Mercs available (if you can tolerate repair costs of course).

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This is similar to what I mentioned on the other thread regarding MB last week.

    There will be a market rationalization for these brands with too many niche-inside-niche models. It’s just how a product cycle works. More models and options, more players/brands in the game. It reaches a tipping point, and the less profitable/desirable models and brands fall away, resulting in a balanced, mature market.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Orange

      Yes, I agree. One example is Mini. There was how many different models sold recently. Now BMW is trimming back the number of niches Mini’s will be available in.

  • avatar

    The CLA, GLA and C-class (specifically the C-class) have delivered the coveted Mercedes badge to people who would have otherwise never been able to afford one (and by afford, I mean they really can’t afford it and should have purchased something $10,000 less to balance their personal budget).

    Now – let’s see if that 6-year ownership period brings along “Mercedes Reliability”.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Remember that time when you started seeing aluminum siding salesmen and your plumber driving Cadillacs? Welcome to Mercedes circa 2015.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      That has been Mercedes in the rest of the world forever. They made 200Ds with crank windows and no A/C that every middle class baker in Germany could afford, and the loaded S-class that the Bank President was driven in.

      America is just special in that short-bus connotation of the world special that people get worked up about this sort of thing.

      A cheap Cadillac was supposed to be a Chevy. Big difference.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      “…and your plumber driving Cadillacs…”

      I had immediate visions of The Money Pit…”I gotta be me, I gotta be me…what else can I be…”

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    When you can get someone to pay 35 grand for a car the size of a Corolla that has basically no options. Exactly how much brand dilution has occurred. Mercedes at present is capable of charging a premium of 20 grand or more for their smallest offering. And if Mercedes was the only premium automaker doing this I would have worries with their brand perception. But this has been a major market shift with all the important brands with cache moving to lower price points. It isn’t going to be a stain on Mercedes per se. But a further evolution of the American auto market.

    When Mercedes is no longer capable of selling cars that cost 100 grand plus with a months long waiting list. Or their customers expecting Cadillac level of discounts. Then I can easily see their shift to the lower end of the market truly a problem.

    I’ve started to see this shift to smaller cars more similar to going to an expensive posh restaurant and only having a small appetizer or entree as opposed to a full course meal with a bottle. I still get to have an experience but only just barely doing so.

    • 0 avatar
      velvet fog

      But that experience isnt what it once was. Once the memory of that dies, what’s left? Kind of like that great restaurant that went out of business after three years.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Orange

        So the refinements, execution and features of an E-Class, S-Class or CLS are less because the CLA25 exist? Is the dealer experience lessened because someone bought or leased a less expensive Mercedes? Is the repair bill going to be substantial smaller because they bought the cheapest Mercedes? I am doubtful.

        If Mercedes were to slack off on the quality and execution of their important more expensive model lines I could see it. But so far those models have had the same level of execution and refinement for the past decade or so.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          I tend to agree with that.

          But on the “brand” level, it sure seems like there’s a significant segment that see “owning an ____” as a good-in-itself; something they’re consuming by buying one, regardless of the quality and experience of the vehicle.

          *Those* people see an E or CLS as “less valuable” if anybody can lease themselves something with a Star on it; as soon as people realize that anyone can afford a Star, it loses the *exclusivity and signaling effect* that market wants.

          (Ditto the way Anybody Can Lease A Roundel ‘Cause We’re Giving Away 325Is.)

          (Me, my problem with MB now is that the aesthetic has gone places I dislike.

          Hopefully that’ll change in the next round of redesigns.)

    • 0 avatar

      They do it smart German way not American MBA way. I do not see any problem with that.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    When I was a teenager (in the early 1990s) I lusted after Mercedes as my father had lusted after Cadillac when he was a teen in the late 1960s.

    I lust no more.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Oh man growing up, I’d see people in their 190Es and 300Es. Those were such solid cars. Always looked so serious, as we rolled past in our… Dynasty.

      I’d be like MOM LOOK A MERCEDES! Always noticing the hood ornament. I had no idea how expensive they were.

      • 0 avatar

        When I was a kid, the guy next door to my parents – who was unusually wealthy for their middle-class neighborhood, he had owned an insurance agency for years – bought a 190. He still mostly drove his AMC Concord, though. Which he eventually traded in for a Sentra.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Orange

      Is that because you took the Red Pill?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Because luxury must be stately, powerful, interior as quiet as a tomb, and bonus points for interior colors that fall in the ROYGBIV spectrum.

        As I’ve aged my idea luxury car would be a post 65 pre 70 Cadillac or a Lincoln sedan with a 460V8 or an Imperial with a 440.

        • 0 avatar

          I was imprinted by a grandfather’s Chrysler New Yorker, from 1968. Big. Leather. A/C like the Polar Vortex. Moved like Earth itself.

          I recall seeing ‘440’ under the hood.

          Power seats !!!!! Power Windows !!!!

          The Roads Must Roll.

  • avatar
    udman

    Well I now work at a Mercedes-Benz Dealership, and to be very blunt, there isn’t a Mercedes-Benz Model (with only 2 exceptions) that I would even want to own, barring my own ability to afford one.

    The Exceptions? The G-Class SUV (The old Boxy One) and the thing starts at $140,000 or so. It just has so much going for it…

    The E-Class Wagon… You know, a real Station Wagon. We have a few on the lot, and they are just sitting here when the ML, and GL models are flying off the lot… What the hell?

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    I don’t see it as a problem, at least not yet. BMW simply has too many models. Does ANYONE know the difference between the 3 series GT and the X4? One of them is a jacked up 3 with a hatchback, and the other one is… uh.. a jacked up 3 with a hatchback.

    I’m not going to buy the CLA or GLA, but plenty of people are, and as long as they are willing to pay the asking price, and not demand $10K cash on the hood ala Cadillac, M-B doesn’t have a problem. M-B has been selling cheap A-classes and B-classes in Europe for DECADES as well. It’s only their reach downward in the US that’s anything new.

    This reach downward has also allowed them to do a C-class that wouldn’t have been possible before. The base engine C-class used to be the car that people would scrape together the lease payment for so they could have that M-B star in the driveway, and it resulted in a car that was often worse than a VW Passat.

    The CLA has allowed M-B to deliver a truly lust worthy C-class instead of the “cheap class.” The new car is stunning, and it’s rewritten the rules for that segment. Suddenly the 3 series, A4, IS, etc look awfully low rent.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The nature of mass production has moved luxury somewhat downmarket, in that more and more people expect to possess luxury goods for themselves.

    The Germans can get away with this if the top end of the product line remains authentic and if their relative price points remain high within their respective classes.

    You’ll note that Daimler just announced that Dieter Zetsche’s contract will be extended through 2019, which would suggest that the CLA saved his backside. (He was on shaky ground for a time.)

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Mercedes did well with the marketing marvel that is the CLA. The car is horrid and validates a Lexus ES as a luxury vehicle.

      I think you’re right about Dr. Z. But he is watering down his brand’s DNA.

    • 0 avatar
      Glenn Mercer

      Agreed. One can argue that the new-car market in the USA is “all luxury now” (not really, but hear me out), in that it is becoming more like housing: rich people buy new houses, the rest of us buy used. As indirect evidence: last time the US hit a SAAR of 17 mm 1 in 16 Americans bought a new car… this year it will be more like 1 in 19. The entire market is edging (relatively) upward. (I say “relatively” because the average transaction price in real terms (adjusted for quality changes, which I know is a fraught topic) is dead flat since about 1995 (source: BEA).)

      As far as “the Germans” go, I will argue that (in the USA) Audi has always been relatively more downmarket than BMW or MB, that BMW relies more on cheap versions of the 3 to reach downmarket (with puzzlingly little emphasis on the 1 or 2 series), and that it is MB that has made therefore the biggest leap downmarket, with CLA (and don’t forget the quite profitable GLA, which is mostly a rebodied CLA selling a for a few grand more).

      Also, it doesn’t hurt that the CLA is assembled in Hungary….

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        Mercedes is going to introduce 4 more models with no predecessor? What segments of luxury vehicle are they not already competing in? I guess they could do a “fastback” version of the GLK (GLC), to go up against the X4, but I’m really at a loss trying to think of 3 other spots for them to add new models.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    “Our portfolio is becoming increasingly complex.”

    As with everything having to do with Mercedes. The Germans do love them some complexity.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Obviously the simplest way to change a headlamp is removing the bumper and fender. And the simple way to do door locks is with .25 miles of vacuum tubing, and an air pump in the trunk.

      • 0 avatar
        Verbal

        Let us not forget the original COMAND system, which came with a textbook-sized instruction manual.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Which ones have an air pump in the trunk?

        Mine just had a pump on the engine [’cause diesels don’t make their own vacuum].

        (Are you thinking of the reservoir tank?

        Or did they actually put a dedicated vacuum pump on one of them, for … no really sensible reason?)

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          The Audi 5000 had a vacuum pump in the trunk for the aforementioned locks.

          x.x

          It was always fun trying to pick which lock wouldn’t work, because the pump didn’t happen to get enough suction built up in that particular lock/unlock cycle.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            Ah, I was still thinking Mercedes, not “Germans”.

            Though … why the A5000 would have a vacuum pump in the trunk is baffling, since the gas engine makes vacuum just fine all by itself.

            I mean, more baffling than vacuum-actuated locks themselves, which I’ve never really understood.

            (I mean, on the plus side, they’re super quiet. And until the lines or diaphragms fail from age, they’re quite reliable.

            Maybe in 1960 it made sense as a design decision vs. current electric lock technology, and MB just stuck with it forever from inertia.)

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Most of the older Mercedes have a vacuum operated locks. In the early 2000s they started being phased out.

  • avatar

    I could get a E-Class or even a CLS-Class, but I *really* do like the C-Class. If I bought one, it wouldn’t be because I couldn’t afford any better. That car has jumped off of the “3-Series wannabe” bandwagon and has made tremendous strides in the way of small luxury cars.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      For all the talk of “premium small cars”, the reality has been a letdown. I’m hoping the new C-Class finally starts the trend in earnest, because I’d be much happier driving around in a car a size smaller, but with everything you can get on the larger model.

      • 0 avatar

        True. It annoys me when I look at a 3-Series and realize I have to pay extra to get projector-beam headlamps, for example. And for a while, it didn’t even come with satellite radio (which every Hyundai has for free).

        • 0 avatar
          velvet fog

          I configured a 2-series on the BMW website and was staggered at the things that are extra cost that are standard equipment on cars costing much less.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            The only things required on the 228i are manual transmission ($0) and track handling package ($2200), on the 235i are manual transmission ($0), and the LSD ($2895). Anything else is gratuitous.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Velvet Fog

            As has been the case forever. Great for those of us who often don’t want a pile of useless crap ladled onto our cars. Keeps the base price reasonable, and you can pick and choose what you want to some extent.

  • avatar

    The moment a German manufacturer with an established luxury brand (M-B/BMW/Audi) moves slightly down market their sales increase, they might cannibalize some business, while gaining other.

    They astutely uphold their higher line vehicles to the established luxury standards to provide an halo effect for the lower lines.

    The dealer network is superior to many competitors.

    Many of these lower line vehicles are “leased” to folks that have luxury aspirations. In many instances the lease includes a wear and tear safety blanket, and a service package.

    The old school “mechanical” Mercedes-Benz (built like a tank)and paid cash at a time when customers want technology and financial services no longer fits. Increased technological content on all vehicles plays into Moore’s Law and disposability.

    Let’s assemble the vehicle in a lower cost jurisdiction, lets astutely save costs, while charging a premium for the brand. Let’s lease the first time, then remarket as a CPO the second time.

    The real Benz sedan has a V8 and is rear wheel drive, the ones that sell in volume have a 6 or 4 cyl and some are FWD.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I think Mercedes is safe so long as the public perception of Mercedes as a luxury good remains.

    The mental arithmetic of “leased C-Class =/= wealthy, high-status individual” has not crossed the minds of the masses yet.

    It may in future, from one of three directions:

    1) Average people wising up to leased CLAs/GLAs being a colossal bit of fakery.
    2) Wealthy, high-status individuals deciding Mercedes is too down-market for them, courtesy of all those CLAs/GLAs, regardless of how good the S-Klasse is.
    3) Cars falling out of consideration as status symbols or luxury goods.

    I think 2) will happen first, but 3) is the most dangerous, and I think that moment is coming, as everything becomes assembled by robots there is no element of luxury left, and once the perception of luxury is gone, you just have an expensive appliance. That doesn’t justify the premium.

    I think that is already slowly beginning, and Swarovski crystal headlights, nicer grades of faux-leather, and tackier paint won’t change things. They may be excellent for the Chinese market at this point, since the current demographic favours loudly flaunting their success, but that taste may well change over time. And when it does, what does a luxury car maker offer as a premium?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      On 2), well, where will those customers go?

      A BMW? Well, they lease stripper 320s left and right.

      Audi? I hear you can get good deals on a low-spec A3 or A4.

      It’s not as *blatant* with the other Germans, but it’s the same basic game, isn’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        Yes, it is, and if they’re the people who were buying the high-end cars, I suspect they may just drift to other brands which exist only as halos, so Bentley, Rolls-Royce would be the two winners at the top, I would imagine. For the traditional E-Class customer, I guess it would need to be a non-German brand, so perhaps Maserati or Jag for “mid-range” Mercedes customers, although neither really match the Mercedes ethos.

        Given the way cross-overs are supplanting sedans, I suspect the JLR would be the big winners of a move away from Benz, so long as they resisted the temptation to go down-market themselves on the same scale.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      I’d argue they already have the same situation at the high end, and they seem to be handling it fine. 9+ out of every 10 S-Classes I see are S550s, probably picked up on some $1500/mo lease special. That’s hardly chump change, but that’s still working professional money.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I was in Center City last night and saw another CLA parked on the street, trying too look cool but in reality looking ridiculous; every bit as ridiculous as the result of leaving a CLS in the dryer too long, or my two-year-old niece stomping around in her mom’s high heels, only not nearly as cute as either.

    The only letters that should appear on the decklid are P-O-S-E-U-R.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    It’s always funny to read what North Americans think about Mercedes’ “tradition” and positioning. It’s all fake, they are a mainstream brand in the rest of the world. They were never the cheapest cars overseas, but you can afford one if you save up a little more.

    The new models are due to platform flexibility. They no longer have to keep stamping-out W123s until the tooling wears out. Now they can try 10 different versions. Some are hits, some aren’t. No big deal as long as sales are good overall.

    In some ways the new car business has become like the film industry. Out of 10 releases, you’ll get one blockbuster, one surprise hit, a couple of niche successes, and 6 absolute stinkers. The trouble is you don’t know which is which, so you have to release all 10.

    Prime example: lots of people thought the BMW X6 would be a failure. It sold really well, so now Mercedes has to release a similar car. They don’t know if the X6 was a one-off or the birth of a new segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Mercedes is a premium brand everywhere. The difference is that Sloan’s branding approach for GM compartmentalized branding for US consumers to an extent that doesn’t exist abroad.

      As a result, Mercedes can sell taxis and commercial trucks in Europe without degrading its reputation as a premium car maker. Even its cheaper cars such as the A-class aren’t cheap compared to the family brand competition.

      American consumers have been taught by the domestics that luxury branding is supposed to be more focused. Detroit didn’t slap Cadillac and Lincoln badges onto heavy vehicles, which influences what the Germans can do in the US today.

      • 0 avatar
        InterstateNomad

        I never thought of it that way, but you have a point since Honda made the Acura line just for the US and Canada (I think Nissan/Infiniti also). It might be that their marketing staff believed what you believe, that the US consumer wants a more “focused” or compartmentalized luxury branding.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Agree. The badge on the front is important. You can’t sell a $75k Nissan Patrol here. It must say Infiniti on the front.

          Another SUV case in point – the last version Montero Limited. Sells everywhere else, but a $47k Mitsu doesn’t fly in the US, even if it’s a good vehicle (which I feel it was/is.)

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Just do what I do… I only pay attention to the ones in my market (USA) with a stick shift. That leaves what? Maybe 3 model each with just one engine configuration? Simple!

    • 0 avatar
      InterstateNomad

      Your comment reminds me of that lecture about the paradox of increasing choices leading to decreased satisfaction/happiness from cognitive dissonance.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    A couple of anecdotal comments on MB. Quality has tumbled to 21st overall, Audi is 5th, BMW 10th. A customer of mine traded in a nearly new ML350 on a 2015 Range Rover Sport because she was tired of seeing them everywhere she went. She wanted exclusivity and a luxury dealer experience and she wasn’t getting either with Benz. MB is moving a lot of metal but they are offering tremendous discounts to do this, our local MB dealer is offering $7K off the new C-Class, $8K of the E. This will eventually bite them in the rear. Lack of exclusivity, discounts, cutting corners on the dealership experience and poor reliability will eventually tarnish the star. Too bad, I loved the old Benz….

  • avatar
    danio3834

    You’re not wrong. There’s immense pressure to increase growth at all costs, and there’s only so much room to do that at the top. Starting another brand is tough, and cashing in the equity on an existing valueable brand is too tempting.

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    Sorry, but whenever I see the “s-word” — scale — I have to rise to the bait. Can’t help myself!

    Economies of scale are absolutely crucial and critical in the auto industry, no argument there. But once an OEM is at the relevant MES (minimum economic scale), more scale adds nothing to the bottom line, and can even erode it. If scale were the key factor for success (not that the article said this), why did GM go bankrupt, why does VW (the VW brand specifically, not the overall company, which includes Audi etc.) profitability languish, and how does lil ol’ Suzuki survive? And it is not at all clear that MES is growing: note that the top ten OEMs in the world have a LOWER share of total global output now than they did 20 years ago. Doesn’t seem like the inexorable march of scale economies made much progress… And it’s important to define the relevant scale: the incremental cost of a new model has been FALLING in relative terms, allowing someone like Mercedes to make good money off models that sell at a LOWER volume rate than in the past. So PER-MODEL MES may be dropping. (Conversely, the amount of advertising needed to get a brand in front of the public seems to be going UP, and the MES of an exotic powertrain (e.g. PHEV) may also be higher.) And overall, if you plot OEM size against profit margins, or even average platform size against profit margins, you see NO statistically-significant relationship. So with all due respect I gotta disagree with the argument that the need for scale is more acute than in the past… it might be AS acute, but one can argue that it is LESS acute: I have endless respect for Sergio Marchionne but his assertion that 6 mm units is global OEM MES is nuts, given that Daimler is at 2.5 and BMW at about 2.2, and both seem to be doing fine…. Okay I will take my medication now, but close with the assertion that the assumption common in the industry that bigger is better is closer to a religious belief than it is to a scientific theory.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      Yes MES is easy to reach from a manufacturing and design standpoint but scale still matters in other non-design, non-build ways.
      Marketing costs have there own scale. Yes the internet and good targeting have lowered the cost but its still there. To ease the discussion I’ll pick two makers in the same segment one high volume (relatively) and one low BMW and Jaguar.
      I’d argue that Jaguar easily hits the MES for designing and building their cars but the per unit marketing cost (just to get noticed) are way higher than BMW’s mostly due to sales volume. Besides marketing there is warranty administration, technician training, EPA certification, safety compliance, getting good supplier costs, etc. All have a set minimum cost and small incremental cost. This is why everyone chases volume.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

    To me, the fastest way to growth in North America is to offer even more downmarket engine choices than they do now.

    I’m in Vienam this month, and all of the new E and C classes I’ve seen so far (and there’s a lot of them) are 4 cylinder C200, C250, E200, and E250’s. The only current S-Class I’ve seen are all V6’s (S400 SWB). It’s not like they have the excuse of using a lower income, because with the exchange rate it’s the same price to buy an E250 here as an S550 in Canada.

    As an aside, I see only V8 and V12 7-series and A8’s. The most absurd car I’ve seen all week was an AMG GLA45…in a city where few go over 30km/h. Also, every taxi and bus is a stick shift. Google “Hyundai Universe” to see the size class I’m referring to.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I really don’t get the angst over the model variations. Up until 25 years or so ago, most makers made most of their lines in up to 5-6 bodystyles. Sedan, coupe, convertible, stationwagon, hatchback, sometimes things like a pickup, hardtop, fastback, all sorts of variations. Usually in a couple different sizes. The increasing cost of engineering and certification caused that to go away for a long time, and things got very boring. Now platform sharing has greatly reduced the cost to develop variations again. So why not? If some one people want a two door fastback CUV (as an example) and are willing to pay a nice premium for it, why should MB and BMW not do it? What’s it to the B&B? It probably cost next to nothing to develop the X6, and while *I* think it is silly and would never buy one, the thing is a total money spinner. Sometimes it’s a miss – see 5GT. But the 3GT is selling quite well, and again, at a premium.

    I swear, there are people on here who would only be happy if the only vehicle available to buy was a beige 4dr Camry.

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